Saturday, May 18, 2024

Calling the Oscars a “Snorefest” Will Get You Punished


Michael Fleming worked at Variety as a highly regarded reporter for 20 years. He’s always covered the Academy Awards. He doesn’t much like even going to parties, but he does it. Now his new boss, Nikki Finke, has made a big mistake. And the result is that Fleming will not be at the Kodak today.

Finke managed to get press credentials for Fleming pulled by the Academy. Why? She not only printed the entire list of the planned Oscar broadcast, but she then labeled it a “snorefest.” The story got picked up on the Drudge Report, which is like skywriting it all over the world and putting up billboards in every major city.

Finke finked out on the Oscars. It makes no sense–why does she want to destroy the main event of the business she covers? Yes, she is vicious and angry all the time, makes fun of people on her blog, calls them names. That isn’t “power.” That’s just making noise. Loud, obnxious nose. It’s also not journalism. There was no “scoop” in printing the entire rundown of the show. What’s the point? But even worse was her mocking of the show. FiInke pisses all over everything, then says she’s surprised no one likes her.

The sad part is that Fleming, a most likeable guy, has been drawn into her misery. I will miss seeing him at the Kodak Theater (although he’ll go to after parties). But it’s disheartening certainly for Fleming, who’s a real journalist, to miss the most important event of the year for the industry he covers.

Meantime, Finke hasn’t had such a good week. HBO wisesly cancelled plans for a show loosely based on her. And she sent a “cease and desist” letter to Sharon Waxman at The Waxman used to crib from my Fox News column all the time. Now Finke is claiming she steals from her. It’s funny, because Finke’s other people often help themselves to stories from this column and others. Her London guy, Tim Adler, is a major recycler of what he’s read in the UK papers.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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